Exhibition setup: James Newitt
"In discussing his work, James Newitt emphasizes the significance of his research concerning action, ritual, belief and ideology in local communities. Two works selected for this exhibition clearly demonstrate Newitt's particular artistic approach and methodology. Saturday Nights (2007) is a video work created as a part of a project with a small, rural community, which explores ideals of connection and celebration. In contrast, If They Fall (2010) examines socio - political conflict, exploring the problematic space between the cultures of industry and activism.
...Newitt' s work values ethics and aesthetics. His engagement is real - as an artist he is actively a member of a choosen community. His work demonstrate a unique ability to empathise and observe - there is a genuine engagement with both subject and aesthetic. In their final form, these narrative works provoke a personal, emotional response. The work is devoide of any moralisation, but also of the apathy of ignorance. Beyonde the context of the work, of the rural and the local, the human relevance of the social extremes explored in these work is undeniable."
James Newitt was born in 1981 in Hobart, Tasmania. He graduated in 2007 with a PhD in fine arts from the University of Tasmania, School of Art. He has received numerous state and national funding grants for individual and collaborative projects. In 2008 he undertook a 3 - month studio residency at the Australia Council fot the Arts in Los Angeles, USA and in 2006 he was awarded the Tasmanian Artist Prize for the City of Davenport. In 2009 he was awarded the Quantas Foundation, Encouragement of Contemporary Art Award. He lectures in visual communication at the University of Tasmania, School of Art.